Holiday Volunteer and Donation Opportunities in San Antonio

When Charles Dickens self-published A Christmas Carol in 1843, it slowly intensified the previously dwindling ardor toward Christmas. Dickens offered a reminder—or maybe for some, an introduction—into a deeper meaning behind celebrating Christmas. Something that emphasized a charitable notion toward others. After all, so many studies now prove happiness comes from helping others. Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew said it best, “But I am sure I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come ’round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!” 

Here’s a guide to help out this holiday season! 

Boys and Girls Club Reindeer Brigade 

Boys and Girls Club needs your help in fulfilling the favorite gifts order by December 6th. Check out the favorite gifts list here. Gifts can be delivered to the Mays Family Clubhouse at 123 Ralph Avenue by Friday, December 6. If you have any questions, contact Reyna Vasquez at [email protected] or (210) 436.0686, ext. 2009.

Child Safe 

Child Safe is in need of volunteers for their annual Winter Workshop. They need help gift wrapping from December 9–19. If you’re interested in volunteering, call (210) 801-7866. 

The Children’s Shelter 

On The Children’s Shelter website is a list of continuously needed items like toothbrushes, diapers, wipes, deodorant, etc. that you can donate at any time. 

Chrysalis Ministries 

As of September, Chrysalis Ministries was in need of volunteers for their Light Up A Child’s Heart Christmas Party hosted by St. Anthony Catholic School. For specific details on how you can help out, contact volunteer coordinator Norma Cervantes at (210) 299-4540, ext. 122 or email Norma at [email protected]

Covered for Christmas 

Drop off gently used adult footwear and socks for San Antonio’s homeless community. Donations are accepted until December 22nd and can be dropped off at Mitchell Bail Bond Services at 1303 W. Travis St., San Antonio, TX 78207.

Elf Louise Christmas Project 

There’s so many volunteer opportunities at Elf Louise, and it’s super easy to sign up. Head to this website and scroll through all the areas where help is needed, including gift wrapping, toy stockers, and warehouse help. Then, simply sign up!

Family Service of SA Adopt a Family

Adopt a family here, or contact Michael Odum at [email protected] or (210) 299-3438 to assist with unloading/loading donations, gift wrapping, photography, and more. Family Service is also hosting a volunteer opportunity at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. On December 10, from 6:00–8:00 P.M., volunteers will be wrapping donated presents at Six Flags. Food for the event will be donated by Magnolia Pancake Haus.

Haven For Hope

Meals on the Haven for Hope campus are provided by St. Vincent de Paul Society (St. Vinny’s Bistro) and the San Antonio Food Bank. If you want to volunteer to serve a meal to the homeless, contact either St. Vinny’s Bistro at (210) 220-2452 or The San Antonio Food Bank at (210) 431-8388.

Hill Country Daily Bread 

Drop off a coat or blanket at Hill Country Daily Bread, The Boerne Library, or Billy’s Western Wear. Billy’s is also offering a discount on a new coat if you bring one to donate.

Martinez Street Women’s Center 

Contribute to the End-of-Year Gift for Martinez Street Women’s Center, a center that provides health services, youth development programs, and advocacy opportunities for women and girls of color. You can donate as little or as much as you want toward this annual End-of-Year Gift. Click here to look through all the ways you can give.

Meals on Wheels 

Deliver holiday meals with Meals on Wheels. For meal delivery volunteer opportunities, email Casey at [email protected] or call (210) 735-5115. Use the same contact information for pet meal delivery and an opportunity to spend quality time with Meals on Wheels’ more isolated recipients. For more information, visit their volunteer page.

Roy Maas Youth Alternatives 

Roy Maas Youth Alternatives is a sanctuary for kids undergoing neglect and abuse. To help out this season you can shop at the RMYA thrift shop, volunteer your time there, or donate items to the shop. The shop is located at 3103 West Ave. at the corner of West Ave. and Basse Rd. Click here for more details on how to sign up for a volunteer position.  

Salvation Army Adopt a Local Angel 

Visit Salvation Army‘s Adopt a Local Angel tree tables at North Star Mall, South Park Mall, and Ingram Park Mall between November 9 and December 14. Pick an angel off the tree. All the child’s needs/wants are included on the Angel tag. Then, return your purchased items with your Angel tag back to either location!

SAM Ministries 

Sign up to sponsor a child here. You can also check out the slew of volunteer opportunities here. Christmas events at the end of the year vary; for now, those interested may contact Volunteer Services at (210) 321-5639.

Snowball 5k/1k at Morgan’s Wonderland 

You can register to participate in Morgan’s Wonderland’s Snowball 5k/1k taking place on December 21, 2019. People of all ages and all athletic abilities are encouraged to participate. This fundraiser helps support Morgan’s Wonderland’s ability to provide free admission for individuals with special needs. Register to “Run, Walk, Roll, or Stroll” here!  

Senior Living Volunteer Opportunities

Another great volunteer idea is to reach out to any senior living facility. Some good facilities to volunteer with include Independence Village Stone Oak, Silver Tree, and Esplanade Gardens. Simply contact any senior living facility near you and ask how you can help this holiday season. Many times the residents simply enjoy your taking the time to read to them.

Silver Tree is also hosting a winter wonderland event on December 6th from 2:00–6:00 P.M. at 930 Roy Richard Dr., Schertz, TX 78154. All proceeds will go toward the residents’ upcoming Christmas party! Check out their Facebook for the invite.

USPS Letters to Santa 

You can adopt a child’s letter to Santa and fulfill their Christmas wish! Simply click this link to read through all the letters sent to “Santa” this year; then pick one and make a child’s Christmas dreams come true. For questions regarding Adopt a Letter, click here.

I hope to continue updating this page as new volunteer opportunities arise. Please let me know of any I didn’t include so I can add them to the page! 

Aubrey Cofield holds a Bachelors degree in Non-fiction Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. She's worked previously with NPR, Keep Austin Beautiful, and various other publications as a contributing writer. In December of 2015 Aubrey and her husband of 6 years adopted their oldest son Jaxson. About a year following Jaxson's adoption she became pregnant with her now nearly 2 year old, Jonas. After moving around for a bit Aubrey is so happy to be back in her hometown of San Antonio, TX. Follow her and her boys on Instagram @aubrey_cofield or visit her blog!